Travis Denning: Dirt Road Down EP – Review
Travis Denning’s EP Dirt Road Down is out today, August 6th, on all streaming platforms. Learn more about the brand new project below.
Denning made a splash into mainstream country with his 2018 single, “David Ashley Parker From Powder Springs,” a story about a teenage boy who treated his fake I.D. as an alter ego in order to buy beer for him and his buddies. Since then, he has released several other singles and his debut EP, Beer’s Better Cold, which features the number-one smash hit, “After A Few.” Now, we get to learn more about the 28-year-old, Georgia-native in Dirt Road Down, out today.
“This was about going ‘What’s the next step?'” Denning stated in a recent press release, describing the new project. “It’s kind of cheesy, but to me Dirt Road Down makes me feel like we’ve gone a little further down the path of who I am – which I like to think is a dirt road, for sure.”
Thanks to the pandemic, Denning was able to return to his roots in Georgia, where he spent time writing over 100 songs. “Call It Country” starts off the record and is about the activities and things Denning loves and got to re-discover because of his time off from touring. Co-written with Jessi Alexander and Chris Steven, this song is directed at those who judge the southern lifestyle. With its fast-paced, high energy, and rocking sound, it will make a great show opener for Denning as he hits the road this summer/fall with Brothers Osborne and Tenille Townes.
“We keep that needle in the red on that hell raisin’ meter // Crank that Charlie Daniel’s out them Ford and Chevy speakers // Throw it down in this podunk town, ain’t afraid to get muddy // Yeah, call it what you want to, we just call it country”
The title track covers all the bases of a typical country song: love, nostalgia, and dirt roads. Throughout the song, the singer reminisces on all the great memories and things he learned while on a dirt road. In “Jack and Coke,” Denning uses clever wordplay and storytelling to portray a failed romance between a man and woman. What was a great romance between Jack and Jill turned into Jill moving on, leaving Jack alone with his whiskey and coke.
“Jack meets Jill one late Friday night // In a hole in the wall low lit kinda dive // Jack asks Jill if she wants to dance // A half buzz kiss comes after that // Two hearts find love, fall right in // Give it all they got, but in the end // Jack holds on, and Jill lets go // Now it’s just Jack and Coke”
To most country singers, trucks are more than just a piece of metal on four rubber wheels; they are a symbol of love, loyalty, hard work, freedom, and memories–both good and bad. In “Grew Up With a Truck,” Denning describes what having a truck as a teenager/young adult was like.
“I Went Fishing” is the most somber and personal track on the record. Denning uses fishing to relax and take his mind off the negative things happening in his life. From the time his dog died when he was young, to when his big summer, amphitheater tour with Sam Hunt got canceled, Denning went to the lake to escape the harsh reality.
“This one is definitely my selfish personal favorite,” he admitted. “I wrote it right after the Sam Hunt tour got canceled, and I was so bummed – I mean devastated. That’s when I thought about the title again, and it was like ‘I don’t think I fish to catch fish, really. It’s more about trying to find a little peace of mind and get away from it all.'”
Denning is building an extensive catalog and with live shows returning, he has his chance to make a real name for himself and become a big star in country music.
“My biggest thing is I hope they get a piece of me they were expecting. And I hope they get a piece of me that they weren’t, too,” he joked.
Dirt Road DownEP Tracklist:
- Call It Country
- Dirt Road Down
- Jack and Coke
- Grew Up With A Truck
- I Went Fishing
- ABBY (Alternate Version)
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Dirt Road Down is available everywhere you buy or stream music. Take a listen below and check out more new recently released music on our “New Country Music” playlist. Be sure to give the playlist a follow for your weekly new country music fix.